PORTSMOUTH, NH – On Thursday, The Portsmouth Herald published an op-ed by John Delaney calling for immediate action to address climate change. Delaney wrote, “we need to be honest about the immediate threat of climate change, and we need to be honest about how our country can address that threat.” The op-ed comes on the heels of Delaney’s Climate Action Round Table in Portsmouth in February. The full piece can be found below.
The Portsmouth Herald: For areas like Portsmouth, we need climate action now
By John Delaney
This February, I had the chance to meet with a group of climate experts and activists here in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to hear about the direct impact of climate change in the Granite State. The facts these experts shared at my Climate Action Round Table were dire. They painted a clear picture of the immediate threat that areas like Portsmouth face from climate change and made it clear that our nation must take immediate action to save our seacoast and the livelihoods that New Hampshire families have built here.
Here in New Hampshire, 5,000 homes are directly at risk due to rising sea levels. Research shows that New Hampshire has already lost $15 million in property values along the seacoast since 2005, and the Union of Concerned Scientists suggests that this state could lose another $645 million in property values by 2045. On top of that, New Hampshire industries, from our ski mountains to our lobster fishermen, are on the front lines when it comes to global warming.
We need to put the brakes on climate change starting now.
My campaign is about the truth for a change. We need to be honest about the immediate threat of climate change, and we need to be honest about how our country can address that threat. I’m a believer that we can achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 by working together, Republicans and Democrats, to pass effective bipartisan solutions that put our working families first.
As a congressman from Maryland, I led the first bipartisan carbon tax legislation introduced in over a decade. I helped to build a coalition of Republicans and Democrats who agreed that we need to tackle the issue of climate change starting now in a way that dramatically reduces our fossil fuel emissions without hurting working families with rising fuel costs. Under my carbon tax plan, we proposed putting a tax on greenhouse gas emissions and returning 100% of the revenue generated from that tax as a dividend to the American people to make sure low-income and middle-class families aren’t hurt. This kind of bipartisan solution has the power to change our climate trajectory and put money back in the pockets of American families.
In the White House, passing a bipartisan carbon tax would be the first step of my plan to address climate change. As an entrepreneur, I know that our country has a history of innovating its way out of our biggest challenges. Part two of my plan to address climate change is to increase our federal investment in green energy research five-fold, putting money behind new ideas in energy storage, grid efficiency, carbon capture, renewable energy, and more. We need to put special focus on negative emissions technology which can pull carbon dioxide directly out of the air. Through federal investments in research, our nation has eradicated diseases and put a man on the moon. By putting our brightest minds to work, we can develop solutions that empower not only the UnitedStates, but countries around the world to overcome our addiction to fossil fuels.
Finally, I believe our next president has a responsibility to reengage the international community on the issue of climate change. U.S. leadership helped bring countries around the world together with the Paris Climate Agreement, and President Trump’s withdrawal from the accord undermines not only our standing in the international
Climate change is just one of the environmental threats that American families face today. During my time in Portsmouth, clean water advocate Mindi Messmer gave me a tour of the area around the Coakley Landfill Superfund Site, where toxic chemicals have been discovered in the local water supply and pediatric cancer rates have skyrocketed. Access to clean water is a human right, plain and simple. Growing cancer rates in the seacoast region reflect our government’s failure to protect that right for working families, and I believe that our next president must make clean water protections a top federal priority by cracking down on harmful pollutants and investing in cleanup for areas impacted by industrial waste.
What it comes down to is this – we cannot leave our children with an environmental debt. In areas like Portsmouth, the combined threats of climate change and environmental pollution are not only